Wednesday, December 28, 2011
Norwich City 0 Tottenham 2
Spurs, thanks to two second half Gareth Bale goals, reduce the gap at the top to seven points, with a game in hand, and four points ahead of Chelsea. Tottenham dominated the match at Carrow Road and could have added to the scoreline but will feel satisified with a job well done.
Norwich City 0 Tottenham Hotspur 0
Scorers: Bale (2)
Team: Friedel; Walker, Gallas, Kaboul, Assou-Ekotto (Rose), Sandro, Parker (Livermore), Modric, Bale; Van der Vaart (Kranjcar), Adebayor Subs (unused): Gomes, Bassong, Pienaar, Pavlyuchenko
Tottenham started the game with only one change to the team, as expected, Ledley King, having played two matches in four days last week, sat this one out. Norwich were without Tottenham's Kyle Naughton who was suspended and ineligible while on loan at CarrowRoad. Spurs dominated possession and should have been ahead by half-time but Gareth Bale and Emmanuel Adebayor spurned good chances as John Ruddy made a number of crucial saves. Norwich worked hard and often had eight men back on the edge of their area to prevent Spurs from applying their intricate passing movements in search of a goal.
In the second half, Norwich saw a free-kick pass narrowly wide of Brad Friedel's goal, although the keeper appeared to have it covered. So dominant were Spurs that after 77 minutes when Norwich earned their first corner, Spurs had had ten but more importantly two goals.
The first goal came after 55 minutes, only seconds after the Norwich free-kick. Scott Parker played the ball across the edge of the area to Rafael Van der Vaart whose pass to Adebayor gave him time with quick control to make a short pass to Bale in front of goal who shot with power under the diving goalkeeper.
Bale was playing a more central role and getting into the box to support Adebayor more often. His second goal came twelve minutes later as he picked up a pass from Luka Modric and ran with pace through the centre of the home side's defence to shoot past Ruddy.
Spurs with an excellent team performance had done enough to earn the three points and played out time without their usual scary moments.
This is Spurs third consecutive 2 - 0 win at Carrow Road and at the end of the previous two seasons, Norwich were relegated - they'll be hoping this doesn't happen to them in May, 2012.
Some Interesting Facts:
The match was a local 'derby' for Norwich as the 110 miles to White Hart Lane makes Tottenham their closest rivals this year.
Spurs have taken more points in their last 15 matches (38) than either of the Manchester clubs.
That was Spurs sixth clean sheet of the season.
Tottenham have won the last ten Premier League games in which Gareth Bale has scored - changed days from his early record at Spurs.
So Gareth Bale having conquered the east (Norwich) goes out west on New Year's Eve to his homeland, Wales, hoping for another performance against Swansea to bring Spurs three points and victory over teams from England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales this year.